Friday 26 March 2021

Insomnia a Walk and the First Cut.

 The Insomnia

I'm sure that I've mentioned many times that I am a very poor sleeper, for me a good nights sleep is falling asleep almost immediately waking just once through the night to go to the loo, then falling straight back to sleep again and waking around 6 30am. I never sleep through the night, that would be amazing. 

More often than not the above is not the case, this past week I have slept on average just 3 - 4 hours a night, in fact one night I didn't sleep at all! I know I'm not alone there are many of you like me, but it makes you wonder why it happens, why can't we sleep? 

There is a vast amount of help available online and believe you me I have tried everything there is to be tried. It's like the sleep switch just doesn't work, I can be tired and yawning when I go to bed and then the next minute be wide awake. 

For the record.

I exercise every day. 

I go to bed every night at the same time.

I don't look at computer screens, or any other screens for at least an hour before bedtime.

My last meal is always a light one and is eaten a good four hours before bedtime.

My bedroom is an oasis of calm, no screens, no clutter, just a comfortable bed, drawers and wardrobes, there is no light pollution and it's at a perfect temperature.

My last caffeine intake is 3pm.

I listen to calming music in the evenings and have tried meditation.

I eat foods that are rich in magnesium which helps promote sleep you can see them here I have also drank herbal teas.

I have tried sleeping tablets very briefly in the past, if I take one now it doesn't work, I just feel hung over and groggy the next day. Sleeping pills are not the answer, so what is? is there an answer or do we just have to accept it and deal with it the best we can. 

How I'm Coping

If I lie awake for more than two hours, I will read for half an hour put my book down and then try again, if after another two hours I still haven't slept I will do something else for half an hour and then try again and so it goes on throughout the night, at least this way I feel my time isn't totally wasted like it when I am lying there tossing and turning all night.

Son number three has recommended I try I have nothing to loose so I'm giving it a try, the first week is keeping a sleep diary, I'll let you know how I get on.

Let me know if you have sleep problems and how you cope with them, we may learn something from each other. 

Since writing this I have come across this website which gives out lots of useful information

Everything You Need To Know About Insomnia

A Walk

This week, my friend Baz, yes the one who got me lost in Hawthorne Dene ๐Ÿ˜‚ suggested a walk nearer to home, in fact it's a walk he takes a couple of times a week, it's just a short one Linda he says, about three miles. Seaham is Baz's home town so he knows all the nooks and crannies and hidden pathways. The walk he suggested took us through a Park in Dalton-Le-Dale 

I had never visited this park before and it was practically deserted, it will be lovely when the weather warms up, it's huge and there were lots of lovely Spring flowers in bloom.

The park brings you out into the village of Dalton-Le-Dale which has quite a rich history, here you can see the ruins of Daldon Towers a fourteenth century structure, which I found really fascinating, I love to see old ruins and try to trace their history. I found some information from the Dalton Le Dale history society, you can read about Daldon Towers here.

This Fountain is just a little bit further along from the ruins you can read more about it here
I left a few painted rocks there for someone to find. ๐Ÿ˜Š

This lovely old tree looked so pretty I was surprised to see it covered in cherry blossom already.

We continued through the village and decided to take a circular route back rather than turn back and retrace our steps. I was feeling quite tired as I had only slept for three hours the night before but as we stepped out from the dene which runs behind Dalton Le dale, it brought us out onto this road and I could see with the sea so far away in the distance we still had quite a way to go. 

How long did you say this walk was I asked, about three miles said he, I said you have got to be kidding! 

It was a lovely walk really, the weather was quite cool with a very cold wind blowing in our faces but what let it down mostly was the litter! I could have wept, the amount of litter along this road was unbelievable. Obviously people just throw their rubbish out of the car window as they speed along. Are they mad! what on earth are they thinking? We are doing so much damage to this poor planet of ours but how can we stop this, how can we teach people to act more responsibly surely it's common sense. 

By the time we got to the sea front I was pretty tired and yes once again just dying for a cup of lovely reviving coffee. 

and still trying and failing miserably to capture all the beautiful changing colours of the sea, in the photos they just look grey but in real life I saw deep turquoise, blues and greens.

I love to spot the tiny boats in the far distance. 

The walk ended favourably with a stop off at costa for a take-away cup of cappuccino and we sat facing our beloved statue Tommy  with the coffee cups warming our hands and the cold wind not bothering us at all.

From this point of course I still had quite a walk home, after collapsing in the chair when I got in I checked my Fitbit to discover that the three mile walk was actually over eight miles! we had walked 17,518 steps. You would think then that I would have slept soundly that night but that was the night I didn't sleep at all๐Ÿคฆ‍♀️ strange isn't it?

My lawn has had it's first cut it's looking rather patchy here but I love it when it's smooth and neat.

I wait for this pot of hyacinths to bloom every Spring, this year I will repot them because they haven't done as well as they usually do but I love them just the same. 

I painted the bunny stone to cheer up son number three as he was quite ill in bed suffering from the side effects of his second vaccine, of course I could only send him a picture, he can have it when I see him again, I have no idea when that will be but I'm hoping to visit him in Qatar later in the year, fingers crossed. ๐Ÿคž The side effects only lasted a couple of days and he's fine now.๐Ÿ˜Š

The crocheting and sewing is going on quite frantically in the background as I have to finish this for Daughter in law one for her birthday at the beginning of next month..

and this before the end of the month..

so that's what I will be doing this weekend, what will you be up to? whatever it is I hope that you have a good one. 

Take Care ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

Friday 19 March 2021

Introducing The Snail Trail

Thank you for all the lovely comments I received about the Arizona Blanket in my last post, and it was lovely to hear from Preeti again after a long absence in blogging, I always feel happy when I see a blogging friend returning to blogland.๐Ÿ˜Š

As you may have gathered painting rocks has become quite an obsession with me. Last year I was obsessed with decoupaging on rocks, that was fun too and there will definitely more of that in my future but painting rocks is more challenging and requires a bit more skill, because of that I put off trying it for the longest time. The more I researched it the more intimidated I became, some people's rocks are real works of art. 

I think once I agreed to accept my limitations that's when I started to have fun. It doesn't matter if you are talented or not it's the process of actually painting the rocks that's the most important thing. I decided that I love fun and quirky cartoon type rocks and I could cope quite well with those. There are lots of tutorials on YouTube and on Facebook. When I saw a tutorial for these snails by a lady called Carol on Facebook I was hooked and couldn't stop making them and that's when the idea of the snail trail was born.

Each snail has a name and I have introduced each snail on the back of the rock explaining that they are a part of the snail trail, along with an inspirational quote. I'm hiding these on my walks and am hoping that the snail trail will become popular with the local children wanting to find lots of snail trail members. 








I'm having lots of fun painting these and they are so simple you can get kids involved too. All you need is a rock, pencil, Acrylic paint and or watercolour pencils and a fine liner pen to outline, then a coat of  outdoor varnish.

You can find lots of Carols Tutorials on Facebook this is her page..

Carol's Rock Painting Tutorials

Did you know that painting rocks is good for you? click below to see why..

Benefits of Rock Painting

I will be dropping that little family along the school route when I take my next walk, and will start preparing another batch along with some cute Easter Rocks.

I'm pleased to say that after all the problems of last week, this week there has only been one thing that's gone wrong, a torn windscreen wiper! (there always has to be something) luckily it was on the passenger side so I was able to complete my journey.

 My son in law asked me to measure it and said he would come and replace it for me. He duly came to do just that but found that the new wiper didn't fit! I had measured the wrong one! who new?! I thought that they were both the same size but of course on closer inspection they are totally different sizes in fact 4 inches different, why didn't I see that? Anyway he will come again today and hopefully windscreen wiping services will be resumed. 

Craft wise I have finished the Hooked and Locked blanket but have yet to finish the back side of the border, the last panel is called apples and leaves...

Working the back side of the border involves working a row of dc around the edge of the blanket and then extending the border and decreasing so that it can be folded over to  encapsulate all those ends. I have never tried this method before I will show you once it's done, however once again this poor blanket will have to take a back seat for while because I have something else on my hook.

My daughter in law asked me if I could make something for her, I was a little none committal because it's her birthday in a couple of weeks so I'm working against the clock hoping to get it done by then as a surprise, so all will be revealed later.

I am so happy to see that all of the Spring bulbs I planted are coming into bloom, I absolutely love daffodils especially the tiny tete a tete. I planted lots of these in pots and in the lawn, I wish they would just lift their heads a little higher so that I can get a better photo.

The sun is shining and Spring is in the air so I hope you all manage to get outside for a little while and enjoy it, have a great weekend. ๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

Parties I will be linking to.

Friday 12 March 2021

Another Blanket Takes A Belated Bow

It was my little grandsons third birthday last Monday and I was looking back at the post I did of when he was born back here, where does the time go! I realised that I hadn't followed up on the blanket I had started at that time.

I had a lot of fun making this, it was a CAL and some of the ladies from Loving Hands were making it too so we were were able to compare notes and watch each others progress.

This was a very interesting blanket to make as it's crocheted from the centre out and each section was worked in a different crochet stitch.

I think it's one of the most striking blankets I have made and I love everything about it. I have this blanket folded at the foot of my bed ready to pull up if the night is especially chilly.

It's the Arizona Blanket and you can find the pattern here and I used the red sky colourway.

It's been quite a busy week, starting with my Grandsons Birthday, not that we could really celebrate but I saw him on video chat opening his presents, my son sent this the evening before, he had lots of lovely surprises when he got up the next morning...

Then I discovered my bathroom radiator was leaking and had to call the plumber, he can't fix it until next week so I have a dish underneath it to catch the drops and that's standing on top of  a towel, luckily he managed to stem most of the flow.  I don't want a repeat of this!

My brother's phone broke, he needs a phone at all times as he has MS and was expecting a call from his consultant amongst other things. All the phone shops are closed because of covid, so we had to buy a new phone, get a new SIM and transfer the old number to the new SIM. It took days to get it sorted and you know what it's like with a new phone you have to set it up, transfer contacts, well I won't go into details but honestly I could write a book! 

My left hearing aid has been switching itself on and off while I'm wearing it, for those who don't wear hearing aids, every time it switches on a little bell rings three times, can you imagine what it's like! Anyway I was lucky to get an appointment at Audiology they gave me a new aid but that one was buzzing while I wore it, I went back the next day and they changed it but it's still buzzing.  I have to wait to the end of the month before I can get an appointment to see an Audiologist so I'm having to make do with just one hearing aid, thank goodness I'm not meeting up with many people.

On a more happy note I got my corona vaccine yesterday, my GP rang me the day before so I cancelled the appointment at the vaccine centre 10 miles away and had it at the GP surgery.  No side affects so far although I'm beginning to feel a little dizzy and light headed, could be my imagination time will tell, I'm just glad that I've had it.

I've had very little time for crafting this week but this weekend I plan to fill this bowl with fruit....

and maybe paint more stones...

Thank you all your lovely comments about my rocks, painting them is honestly keeping me sane.๐Ÿ˜Š

For all you Mums that are celebrating

I hope you all have a great weekend.๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜

Friday 5 March 2021

Mosaic Blanket a CAL and A Snowdrop Adventure


I really shouldn't put things to one side to start on something else because it took me quite a while to get back into this and to figure where I had left off in the pattern, and to remember that my colours are in reverse order to what they show on the chart.  I can't believe that it was September last year when I put it to one side to concentrate on The Queen CAL and then Christmas projects after that, anyway I thought it was about time to pick it up again and try to get it finished  as I'm thinking about starting another blanket. 

I last posted about this blanket here  and these are the panels I have managed to complete since then.






I have just one more panel and the border to crochet in order to finish the blanket and I'm hoping to get it done sometime this month this month.


Take a look at this....

I really love this and the pattern is at a reduced price until the end of the CAL so if you can't follow the CAL as it happens I would recommend buying this pattern now if you fancy making it, and then you can make it when you like.

 Another decision dilemma do I make this or not? I keep finding these lovely patterns but I have to ask myself do you really need another blanket? and if I do make it what colours shall I choose, and which yarn. I quite like the lilac and white or perhaps a pale green, there's an internal struggle going on right now can you tell? ๐Ÿคฆ‍♀️


I decided to go in the search of Snowdrops at Hawthorne Dene which is not too far away from me.  I have put it off until now because of all the rain we have been having but after a few dry days I set off with a friend who professed to know his way around this dene, on a misty cold morning. 

At the dene entrance this sight should have served as a warning but no, I was determined to get some photos

Once we got into the dene it was quite easy to avoid most of the muddy places and admire the scenery which looked quite eerie shrouded in mist..

One of the paths leading down to the sea but not recommended when it mostly consists of mud..

At last a carpet of snowdrops, they could be seen everywhere and what a beautiful display it would have been if the weather had been just a tad warmer and the flowers had unfurled their petals but they  were closed tight against the cold and the mist..

Having taken lots of photo's and walking for quite a while whilst climbing over several large muddy patches I was quite ready for a nice hot cup of coffee and a rest.  I have been to this dene before but it was many years ago and I hadn't clue which direction to take but I wasn't worried as my friend knew the way or so he said! so when we came to a forked path leading in three different directions I just followed quite innocently, thinking it won't be long till we get back to the car, I could practically taste that coffee.

We seemed to be walking forever, there wasn't a soul about and there in the distance you could see the sea practically the same colour as the sky in fact that tiny boat looks as if it's floating in the sky.

We seemed to be miles away from anywhere right in the middle of fields, we could see villages looking tiny in the distance but hadn't a clue which villages they were, and so we just kept on walking I mean to say the path has to lead somewhere right?

After walking for what seemed like miles we came upon this.... 

it was impossible to get around and so we had to try and find a gap in the bushes at the side to go into the field beyond in order to bypass the flood.

The fields themselves were waterlogged and it was a case of walking around huge flooded areas our feet squelching in the mud. We realised as we got deeper into the field, that a barbed wire fence surrounded the perimeter, so we had to keep moving forward hoping to find a gap in the fence. When we eventually did, getting from the field and back onto the road involved climbing a very steep slope all the while trying to avoid those sharp twigs and brambles, then crawling through the gap only to find ourselves on a very narrow ledge which was about two feet up from the very muddy path below.  I managed to crawl through but then found I couldn't stand up! My friend had to practically drag me up and then we both jumped down onto the road, landing ankle deep in mud! 

As we walked on from that spot and turned the corner we were met with the same scenario! All in all we had to bypass three flooded area's before eventually finding a main road miles away from where we started.  According to my Fitbit we had walked over 7 miles when all I had wanted to do was have a short stroll, and take a few pictures of snowdrops!๐Ÿคฆ

I will go back when the weather is better and next time we will take the coastal path to get there and hopefully have lunch in the village pub sadly closed now because of Covid. 

It took me a while to recover I can tell you and do you know, I never did get that coffee, by the time I got home I was too tired to do much other than have a quick lunch, drop in a chair put my feet up and do some crochet, which is what I will be doing this weekend.๐Ÿ˜Š

Have a great week.๐Ÿ˜˜๐Ÿ˜˜